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India is fast becoming Omicron country

17 states and union territories (UT) have now reported Omicron cases, with Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh joining the ranks of Omicron affected states and UTs.

New entrants

  • In HP, a 45-year old woman who had returned from Canada earlier this month tested positive for Omicron while in MP, the state government disclosed that it had detected eight cases of Omicron, of whom three had returned from the US while two each had come from the UK and Tanzania. The government added that six of them had recovered.
  • In Assam, after a 57-year-old returnee from Nigeria and four family members as also their domestic help tested positive for Covid-19, the district administration has sent their samples for whole genome sequencing to determine if they are Omicron positive.

State curbs

  • Karnataka on Sunday announced a 10 day night curfew starting from tomorrow, from 10 pm to 5 am with a complete ban on functions and parties.
  • Delhi, which saw a sudden spike in new Covid-19 cases, with 290 new infections, has also imposed a night curfew from 11 pm to 5 am, starting today.
  • Health experts in Kolkata have called on the state government to impose strict curbs on crowds in public areas after the city witnessed a huge rush of people on Saturday to celebrate Christmas.

Vexed on vaccination?

  • Senior epidemiologist at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Dr Sanjay K Rai, who’s also the principal investigator of Covaxin trials for adults and children, has denounced PM Narendra Modi’s plans to start vaccination of children between 15-18 years of age from January 3.
  • In a tweet, Rai said he was “completely disappointed with his unscientific decision on children vaccination” as it will not yield any additional benefit since the severity of infection among children is very low.

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